Pebble launches new ‘Time’ watch, beating Apple Watch to be first colour smartwatch for iPhone

Company has gone to Kickstarter to fund the watch, where it met its $500k target within 17 minutes

Pebble has launched a new smartwatch, with a colour display and other new features ready to take on the Apple Watch.

The new model, which was teased this week by a countdown on the company’s website, keeps the low power e-ink screen of previous models but adds colour to the display. It also adds a microphone and has a new design that is 20% slimmer than previous models.

It will be sold through Kickstarter, where the company sold its first watch. It set a $500k target and broke through it within 17 minutes, and was going up by about $1,000 a second at the time of writing.

On Kickstarter, the Pebble Time is be available for $159 (£103) in different colours and be shipped from May. After the Kickstarter campaign is over, it will be sold in mainstream shops around the world for $199 (£129).

Those prices are cheaper than the Apple Watch, which is expected to be sold from about £300, with luxury versions that are set to sell for thousands of pounds.

The new Pebble allows users to click its wristband on and off, allowing users to add new bands to the watch. The ability to have wristbands of different colours and materials has been one of the central marketing points of the Apple Watch.

The Pebble will work with Android and iPhones, as with previous models.

The company has long been the only major company making a smartwatch compatible with iOS – since the operating system is more closed down than Android, companies have been less able to create devices for it – and was expected to come under pressure from Apple’s own offering. The launch appears partly to be a response to the Apple Watch, which is expected to be released in April.

Pebble Time will also come with a new version of the company’s operating system, allowing for notifications to be more organized and for reminders of thing in the future and the past. Pebble is working with developers including ESPN and fitness tracking company Jawbone to create new apps for the watch, it said.

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